A Tablet and a Laptop


Dell made an interesting design choice here by having a barrel-like spine on one side of the device, which feels like the edge of a rolled magazine (well, a heavy magazine). It's a natural sort of feeling that would work a little better if it was smaller, and if the tablet was a little lighter.

As is, the tablet did feel a little bulky to use with one hand, but I will say it was a better one-handed experience than using an iPad thanks to the added grip from the round side. Overall I was spoiled by the fact that I'd used the Venue 10 7000 as a laptop first, and found myself thinking of the tablet as half of the device, rather than its own product. This isn't necessarily fair to the tablet, though the round side is a bit awkward to work with at times.

While it was useful to have the surface of the touchscreen at a constant angle, which helped with typing for example, it was a little strange not to be able to lay the tablet flat. This is remedied (again) by connecting it to the keyboard, which allows for a full range of options thanks to the universal mount. Switching the keyboard around and reattaching it to the tablet allows not only for storage of the keyboard and a flat surface if desired, but also creates a very good integrated stand experience. Once again I conclude that the keyboard is essential to the overall experience.


I was struck from the beginning by how completely the keyboard accessory changes the character of the experience, and for the better. The only drawback I can easily point to is the added weight to a tablet that was already 1.32 lbs, as the keyboard adds another 1.03 lbs. 2.35 lbs isn't heavy for a laptop but it's certainly too heavy for a tablet if you leave the keyboard attached. 

The keyboard seamlessly integrates into the tablet thanks to the clever magnetic coupling, in which both halves make up the whole of the hinge.

The keyboard has a bracket on both ends which magnetically attaches to the tablet.

Looking at the cylindrical side of the tablet we see slots located next to the speakers on both sides, and these slots contains gear-like teeth that mate with the keyboard's brackets.

The two sides click together easily and with a very tight fit, and the whole thing feels rock solid. Not only is this keyboard not going to flop around or fall off, but it actually creates a hinge that holds its position better than most laptops!

No matter what angle you choose, the tablet (now functioning as your laptop's screen) retains its position.

So how did it work in daily use as a laptop? Remarkably well considering this is still running Android. In fact, with the keyboard attached I only thought of the Venue 10 as a laptop, and it was such a great experience it made me wish it was running Windows so I could make it my daily driver.

The keyboard felt very good and I was able to type accurately after adjusting to the smaller size, though people with very large hands will probably find it too cramped. The trackpad was very smooth and responsive, and offered the expected response with two-finger scrolling. It really feels like you're using a normal laptop, and I kept having to remind myself that this was still Android.

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